My late father Percy James William Sillick was born in Exeter Devon in 1906 and was a sign writer by trade as was his father( my Grandfather) George William Sillick born 1876.
Amongst my father’s personal belongings I have a Blotter Year Book produced by the Ebenezer, Wesley and Mount Gold Wesleyan Methodist Churches Plymouth dated 1931-32.
Although my father was not a Methodist this blotter would have been given to my Grandfather or father whom probably did a sign writing job for the Methodist Church in Plymouth.
People travelled about years ago to get employment, called journeymen except my Grandfather and father were skilled at their work. Both having attended the College of Art then in Gandy Street, Exeter.
Blotting paper - rarely used these days - was to soak up writing that was done with a holder with a steel nib that was dipped into a bottle of ink.
What intrigued me about this particular blotter book were the advertisements promoted by various shops and businesses.
Take for example A B. Le Cras & Son appertaining to be pure medical herbalists and The physio-medical Pharmacy carrying a large stock of herbs, root, barks, and berries for the treatment of rheumatism, stomach & liver troubles, chest and lung ailments and nervous disorders. Wheeegh!
Something for everyone! Even I remember Andrews Liver salts for purifying the blood! People years ago treated their ailments themselves and quite successfully sometimes.
Apart from trade advertisements of builders and furniture upholsterers there was shoe repairers whom offered a collection and delivery service.
I recall my father mending our shoes on a lathe with leather and Oh I loved the clicking noise of blakeys!
Do some readers remember the Dairy Shops that dominated shopping areas? Well the dairies whom advertised here promised in the blotter adverts of clean milk delivered daily, new laid eggs farm butter and clotted cream.
Pure new milk delivered daily direct from farm to consumer. I recall a little dairy in the 1950’s that during the early hours of the morning went delivering with a hand cart pushing it around the streets.
Sadly dairies were consumed and taken over by the large commercial dairies, now today it is in the hands of the supermarkets.
Last but not least, I see there is an advert by a J.R.Bull electrician and wireless engineer wireless sets repaired at rock bottom prices accumulators charged or repaired. Another, Russell Radio Stores , suppliers of radio sets and radiograms. The latter a radiogram I recall held pride of place in our living room as a child, in fact a piece of furniture that supplied endless pleasure. A record player beneath a lid at the top and beneath it a radio with large knobs to operate. For the larger part an amplifier to emit the sounds. I was certainly taught to appreciate classical music in the 1940s!
So here it is preserved for my children to be handed down. A hard backed blue coloured blotter book. There are also photos of the Church and bible quotations.
Published by The Royal Publishing Co., Bardon Chambers, Infirmary Street Leeds. With the compliments of Methodists Churches in Plymouth.